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Create a Community around your Art Program
An Artsonia school gallery is much more than just a place to show off your student’s artwork; it’s an opportunity to create an entire community that revolves around your art program. The gallery is a launching pad for art-focused student interactions, family involvement and integrating technology into your art room.  Each fall, Artsonia honors teachers who have done an outstanding job of creating a community around their art programs with Leadership Awards.  Learn more about one teacher’s award and art program in a recent article by the The Record (Wanaque,New Jersey).

Teach Digital Citizenship
As a web-based educational platform, Artsonia provides many ways for students to learn and practice responsible digital citizenship. Online classroom tools give students the means to responsibly submit their own artwork and statements. Leaving comments on another student’s work is another online activity. Often times, these activities are done on school owned computers or iPads. Students will learn appropriate ways to use devices while practicing respectful and responsible digital citizenship in the safe, controlled online environment that is  Illinois Art Teacher, Tricia Fuglestad uses Artsonia to teach digital citizenship in her art room and shared the details on her Fugleblog last spring.

Promote Literacy and Address the Common Core
Students are encouraged to submit artist statements along with their artwork. Asking students to first thoughtfully analyze and interpret the work and then write a statement, drives literacy skills. This is especially true when proper use of sentences, punctuation and organization is required by the teacher (photo credit, Art Teacher Janine Campbell).


Artist statements, much like the Common Core requirements, reinforce the importance of learning to reflect, critique and evaluate work. The Art of Ed recently interviewed middle school teacher, Diane Davis to find out more about using Artsonia to promote literacy.

Organize and Manage Your Art Program
Within the Artsonia teacher section, you will find numerous ways to organize not only your art gallery, but your entire art program. Quickly see who has completed artwork, post feedback to your students…Monitor_Exhibits

Send Art Room Newsletters to parents (Thanks to IL art teacher, Laura Allan for sharing hers)! Monitor student-progress, print reports and request money earned through fundraising efforts. Nearly all the Artsonia features are the direct result of teacher feedback, in an effort to create an all-in-one classroom tool, designed specifically for art teachers.

Earn Funds, Enrich Your Art Program
Artsonia gives teachers a way to earn additional funds for their school via an online gift shop. At their convenience, families and friends of the artists can purchase customized keepsakes featuring the student’s artwork. Artsonia gives 20% of each purchase back to the school to help support the art program. Fundraising_Twitter

At any time, art teachers can redeem earned funds in the form of a check, gift cards (Artsonia/Blick Art Materials/Amazon), technology products (Apple TV/iPad/iPad mini) or as payment for their annual NAEA Membership. With additional funds coming into your program, Artsonia hopes that both you and your students will be provided with enriched experiences and opportunities in the world of art education.

What are YOUR favorite Artsonia features? What do students love about Artsonia? What do your families say about Artsonia? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments below!


Part of ourWhy Artsonia? Because…”  series

Kids love it AND Attitudes are Improving!(3)

Teachers know that the more engaged a student is in an activity, the more likely he/she will be to put the best foot forward.  The art room is no different.  When an art teacher decides to use Artsonia as a way to showcase the student artwork, he/she soon starts to notice a new buzz around the art room. Suddenly there seems to be a more positive spin on each project.  Bad attitudes start to turn around, work ethic begins to improve and students are finding a new sense of pride and self-esteem in their work. What’s the bottom line? Kids love being published artists on Artsonia!

At the heart of of Artsonia’s mission is getting kids to develop a new sense of pride that comes from feeling like a famous artist, deserving of the spotlight and recognition. The various activities such as fan clubs and guestbook comments are actually tools to encourage young people and their creativity. We want personal statements to draw out even more from the artist, getting the visitor one step closer into the thoughts and efforts behind the artwork.  Kids need to believe that both what they create and the thought process involved are newsworthy enough to share with visitors. In a recent blog, Sarah Doane, an art teacher in Reading,MA noted how the family activities provided on Artsonia give her students that boost in self-esteem. She writes, “The more family and friends that see a child’s artwork, the more encouraging comments they receive. When this happens, my student’s self-confidence increases and they become even more interested in art! It’s a win for everyone.”

Another way we hope to give students a positive experience through Artsonia is our artist of the week contest. The weekly finalists are not merit-based selections, but randomly chosen from the prior week’s art submissions. Kids are so accustomed to contests about being “the best,” but our contest is about giving everyone who’s brave enough to create a piece of artwork and share it with the world, a chance to win. In some cases, the contest can mean much more, as we were sent this story from a teacher in California. “One of my 6th grade art students was selected for your artist of the week contest.  His core teacher told me this morning that he is a new student in our school and is having trouble adjusting.  When the teacher called the parent yesterday, she told her that her son has been in tears everyday over going to school.  Since he found out that he has been selected for the contest, he now has a positive attitude and is enjoying his celebrity status. Even if he doesn’t win the contest, he’s seeing himself as more of a winner than ever before.”

One last factor that teachers mention in regards to a better work ethic or changed attitude in the art room is good old-fashioned peer pressure. While we didn’t consider this a factor when the Artsonia gallery was being built, we do see where it might come into play.  Many teachers feel that the Artsonia gallery puts a little creative peer-pressure on students. Now that the art teacher isn’t the only one who will be looking at the child’s finished work, there’s a little more motivation to succeed.  North Carolina art teacher Margaret Moltine seemed to agree with this theory when she said, “I believe that using Artsonia has raised the bar in achievement for my students in that they want to do better work since it will be seen by an unlimited number of people.”

In closing, we thank everyone who takes the time to read these entries and provide your feedback. We hope that everyone who reads this post has an example of how Artsonia has been a positive experience, whether in a school community or in your own family.  We would love to hear more stories from you, so please feel free to post a comment or send them along in an email to

Part of ourWhy Artsonia? Because…”  series

Families are getting involved in Art Education (2)

Old T.V. shows depict the days when a family would sit down at the 5pm dinner table, each person recapping the day, sharing stories and supporting one another.  Now, fast forward to the present. We certainly hope that there are still homes enjoying consistent family meals and spending quality time around the dinner table, however, it seems that the reality of today is much different.

Family life today varies greatly from household to household. Some parents/guardians might not always be in the same household. They might not work the same shifts. They might be overseas. And the list goes on. How then, do families get the chance to connect with one another? Phones? Texts? Emails?  Yes, today’s technology provides ample ways for families to connect, but did you realize that the Artsonia gallery is one of them?  Of course, we’re not a social media site nor are we just a discussion forum or chatroom.  Instead, Artsonia is a platform that allows families to make meaningful connections with kids through their artwork.

An individual artist’s gallery on Artsonia encourages families to take an active role in a child’s art education.  Of course, the families can see the finished artwork and admire the handiwork, but there are also ways to connect with the artists themselves.  With the help of a teacher or parent, artists can submit a personal statement on each piece of artwork. What a great way for parents to encourage their child’s creativity – actually sit down and talk about the artwork as you view it in the gallery! Finish up by posting the statement for all the world to read! Relatives who can’t simply sit down at the dinner table with the artist can now find out what inspired the piece or just get a closer look into what the artist was trying to accomplish.

Each artist’s gallery includes a guestbook.  Here, family members can leave comments with words of encouragement or praise for the artist. Some relatives will even leave questions for the artists, trying to get a deeper meaning or explanation about the piece. These comments aren’t posted for the artist or public viewing without parental review, leading to yet another way that parents are getting directly involved! Best of all, it’s a very simple yet meaningful way for a child to feel supported and encouraged – knowing family and friends are admiring his/her own personal creations.

Art teachers are the first to notice what an impact Artsonia has on the parents.  Melissa, a teacher in Washington, stumbled upon Artsonia a few years ago when she was attempting to find an easy way to create a digital art portfolio.  She published 1 piece of artwork from each 3rd grader as a trial run. Within two weeks, she was overwhelmed with responses from parents.  Suddenly, they wanted more artwork online and not just from the 3rd graders, but from the siblings in other grades.  They wanted to know why the project done yesterday wasn’t yet showing in the gallery today.  They wanted to know if they could help speed up the process. It quickly became apparent to Melissa that this was much more than just a way to keep an online portfolio for her students — for the first time ever, she had parents enthused and asking to be volunteers in the ART room!

School communities certainly vary, but many Artsonia teachers would agree that parents don’t intentionally avoid the art room. Teachers felt that prior to Artsonia, they just didn’t have the right tool to make a more meaningful connection with parents. Take-home slips and monthly school newsletters just weren’t cutting it.  Now, teachers see a significant increase in parental involvement. Many of them check the school’s statistics on a regular basis to see how many new comments have been posted, or making note of how many parents have registered an active account on Artsonia.  Others write to Artsonia, sharing comments or emails from parents who have seen a new confidence or sense of self-worth in their child, thanks to being a “published artist” in the school gallery.

Lastly, teachers who choose to use Artsonia also see an increase in parental support as it pertains to fundraising for arts education. Artsonia school galleries provide a way for teachers to show first-hand what the students are learning and accomplishing on a regular basis.  This “visual” helps raise awareness in terms of supplies, materials, resources and technology needed to provide students with a quality art education.  Through Artsonia’s online giftshop (which provides 20% back to schools), teachers have been able to literally save their art programs when budgets were threatening to cut all funding.  Teachers note that more families are coming forward, requesting that funds be allocated back to the art program. Now that they have a better understanding of what students are doing and the value of keeping arts in their child’s education, they are more willing to show financial support.

As research has proven time and time again, getting parents or guardians involved in a child’s education is of utmost importance. While so many  educators – regardless of curriculum – search for new ways to encourage parent participation or involvement,  Artsonia is proud to provide Art Educators with a safe, educational platform that bridges connections between parents, students and the art room. And, with any luck, when families around the globe do gather around the dinner table for meals and celebrations, there will be a little more creativity thrown into their conversations this year.

Holidays? How to Get Ready!

Kids are back. The Art Room routine is established. The leaves are falling and before you know it, Artsonia is talking about the holidays! What?! Be assured, we don’t want you to miss the beautiful colors of fall, deprive you of Halloween goodies nor overlook the opportunity to give thanks. However, around Artsonia we know that in order for us to provide our schools and customers with outstanding service in the Holiday Season, we have to start planning early!

Around this time of year, many teachers start thinking about the fundraising aspect of Artsonia. So, we wanted to mention a few things we’ve learned over the years, in case your art program relies on additional funding via your Artsonia gallery.

1)In November/December, the most of the customized gifts purchased feature winter/holiday themed artwork!
Teachers who have their students do holiday and special seasonal projects “ahead of schedule” consistently see
more funds earned for their schools and consistently hear great feedback from parents about having these available
in time for holiday purchases!

2)More artwork = More opportunities.
With a selection of more than 30 keepsakes available, parents and families have the opportunity to check a lot of names off their “gift list!” One of the biggest benefits of Artsonia (over other art-fundraisers) is the ability to select from a variety of artworks in a child’s gallery, not just one piece! So, we encourage you to publish as much artwork as you can, giving families plenty of different options, if they choose to use Artsonia for gift-shopping.

3)Take note of sales, special offers and shipping deadlines!
Below you will find information about our upcoming fall/winter promotional schedule. We’re happy to share this with you in advance, so that you can include the information on your Art Room Newsletters, take-home notes, school papers/websites or anywhere else that you think it will help! The holiday season is a busy time for everyone and the more reminders, the better!

Here’s a list of the promotions that will be running in our gift-shop this fall/winter – most of them last for around 2 weeks, once announced!

October – Trick or Treat Bags! / Home Decor Sale (Canvas, Magnets)

November – Kick off the Holidays with our annual Greeting Cards SALE
Helpful Tip: These cards are very popular with our parents and fan club members. We encourage you to publish your holiday or winter-themed art projects before November 7 so that parents have a good selection of artwork to choose from!

December – Gift ideas
As usual, our most popular products will go on sale, such as mugs and ornaments. As the holiday approaches, we also try to feature a few smaller items as “stocking stuffer” ideas.

December 15 (Saturday) Last Day Standard Delivery Service
December 19 (Wednesday) Last Day Express Delivery Service (extra charges apply)


Part of ourWhy Artsonia? Because…”  series

Every Child is An Artist (1)

Artsonia teachers come from thousands of schools spread across 130 countries around the globe.  While that alone depicts a diverse group of people, there are far more ways that the students they teach are very different from one another as well. The towns, the communities, the neighborhoods, the family structures, the socio-economic levels, the school building, the art room, the available supplies – all these influencing factors play a role in the type of student who sits down with the art teacher to create the next masterpiece.

There are so many ways that students differ, but a common reason that Art Teachers love Artsonia isn’t about diversity (at least it’s not  in this blog entry!), but instead, it’s about equality.  The Artsonia program instantly levels the playing field for all these students.  Every child is an artist and through Artsonia, they can also be published, famous artists. The Artsonia program wasn’t designed as a website for only “the best” artwork, it was created as a place where all children could safely and proudly share their artwork with the world. It’s a place to celebrate the creativity of young people and that means ALL young people.

We know that art teachers use Artsonia in various ways. Some only submit artwork from certain grades or certain projects, while others will publish every piece of artwork created at the school.  Regardless of the art teacher’s decision, we believe that Artsonia is indeed being used to encourage kids to be creative and to let them feel just as deserving of the “published artist” status as the classmate next to him or the peer halfway across the globe.

With all the labels given to children these days and the impact that one’s skin color, family income or beliefs can give unjust cause to put walls between children sitting in the same classroom, we are proud to represent a program with no walls, no borders, no “not good enough” labels.  They’re all kids, they’re creative and they want to be recognized! We’re Artsonia and it’s an honor to showcase the artwork of these famous, published artists in our gallery!

Some twelve years ago, Artsonia was a small art museum with a few hundred pieces of artwork from a handful of schools. Thanks to the dedication of so many art teachers, Artsonia has evolved into something much bigger.  With millions of artworks on display and thousands of participating schools, teachers can now use Artsonia as an advocacy tool for the art program not just within their schools, but within their communities, districts and states.  We know this type of advocacy is going on around the globe, but we are especially honored when someone takes the time to share a personal story with us. We recently received the below inspiring email from a teacher in Galesburg, IL.

Good morning!

Writing to companies is not my thing, but…
Last spring I found Artsonia and decided to give it a go. This fall I signed up the two schools I teach art at in Galesburg, Illinois. Nielson and King both have a high free & reduced lunch rate and are in a community of parents who love their kids but don’t especially hold the arts in high regard.

We are just getting started with Artsonia. The kids love this. In addition, I want to tell you I have taught in this position for 25 years. I decided to join Artsonia to try to motivate my kids to work harder and care more about their work. In 25 years I have never had a parent request a meeting at Parent\Teacher conferences. This week rocked my world! I received two emails from students’ parents expressing their appreciation for posting their child’s work. This morning I got an email from the administrative assistant to our district’s superintendent. She had gotten an email that her grandson artwork had been posted on Artsonia. She loved the site.

Over this past week it has I began to realize that this was much bigger than just motivating the kids. Artsonia has allowed us to begin to create a community of and about art in our two schools. It is like the Facebook of kid’s visual art.

Thanks for all you do. When I grow up I want to work for Artsonia!

Rich Ankeney
King Elementary School
Nielson Elementary School
Galesburg, Illinois

We extend our sincere thanks to Rich for letting us post this and congratulate him on his more than 25 years of dedication to arts education. And yes, Rich, when you grow up…give us a call!

One of the newest features on Artsonia is called “Teacher Feedback.” Over the years, we’ve noticed more and more teachers leaving comments for students on artwork.  We realized that this is a rather tidious process, having to open each individual student’s gallery, post a comment, and repeat this over and over for an entire class. We also knew that comments posted by teachers would not require any additional review.  So, in response to the many requests on this subject, we introduced “Teacher Feedback” this past August.

Teachers now have an easy way to leave feedback on artwork. In the secure teacher section, one single page will display all the artwork from a specific exhibit, allowing teachers to post unqiue feedback for each student, or instead, type one comment and instantly have it posted to every student’s artwork.  The feedback will be displayed near the artwork in the student’s public gallery. Feedback does not require parent approval – it will be shown on the website immediately.

We hope all our teachers will take the time to try out this new feature. As always, your comments and “teacher feedback” is much appreciated!

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